“Success is the product of daily habits — not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.” —James Clear
You may feel that the way to big change is to drastically disrupt your current routines. But big, overwhelming changes can lead to fatigue and cause you to revert back to your old ways.
If you’re looking for big change in your life, start with the small things. Learn to be disciplined and dedicated to the little areas of your life. This will better prepare you to tackle bigger problems. Here are 6 small changes you should make to spark big change in your life.
1. Go to Bed Before 10pm
Getting enough sleep gives you more energy, improves your cognitive function, and puts you in a better mood. To get the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep each night, you need to go to bed before 10pm. Not only will this small change help you get more sleep each night, but it will also help you get better sleep.
As you sleep, your body cycles between deep sleep and REM sleep. Both have different, important functions for your body. You gain most of your deep sleep earlier in the night and the majority of your REM sleep towards the morning. This is based on your body’s internal clock. So the later you go to bed, the less deep sleep you will experience. This will affect the overall quality of your sleep.
To get the most out of your sleep, go to bed before 10pm.
2. Drink Lots of Water
Recent studies have found that roughly 75% of Americans are dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, food cravings and more.
Drinking more water is a simple change that will have a big positive effect on your life. Always keep a water bottle with you to sip on throughout the day. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. This will keep your energy levels up and improve your concentration.
3. No Screens After 8pm
The blue light emitted from your devices interrupts your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is an essential hormone that helps your body prepare for sleep. Turning screens off at 8pm gives your body time to produce the melatonin you need before bedtime. Turning screens off early in the evening will also help you be more productive with your nights. You can read, write, exercise, plan your day, or spend time with your family.
4. Read Every Day
Reading is a simple way to see big changes in your life. Reading has so many benefits. From reducing stress to fighting Alzheimer’s, it’s a great investment of your time.
It’s also a great way to be exposed to new ideas and learn new things. It increases your vocabulary, improves your memory, and expands your perspectives. Reading every day is an easy change that doesn’t take a lot of time or resources (especially if you have a library card).
5. Take a Walk
A lot of our daily activities require us to sit. But they say sitting is the new smoking. Adding a quick 10–15 minute walk during your work day can bring major benefits to your life. Some benefits of walking include improved mood, stronger legs, lower blood sugar, and increased creativity. Taking a walk every day is a simple and easy way to see positive change.
6. Daily Gratitude
Studies have found that practicing gratitude provides several health benefits. Gratitude helps to reduce depression, improve self-esteem, nourish relationships, improve sleep, and more.
Practicing gratitude is a simple, quick exercise. You can keep a gratitude journal or update a Note on your phone. Taking a few minutes each day to be grateful is a simple change that will have big effects in your life.
Conclusion: Think Small, Gain Big
When we’re in a rut, we may be tempted to uproot our lives in search of big, positive change. But before you can tackle huge, life-altering decisions, you need to master the small areas in your life. As you consistently make small changes, those tiny wins will add up to big successes.